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*old account reviews: http://preview.tinyurl.com/m5hhue3
*actors & stuff: http://preview.tinyurl.com/lyzqksq
-all ordering not exact-
My very favorite animated Disney films: The Little Mermaid
Oliver and Company
Lady and the Tramp (& sequel, sorta)
The Lion King (& sequel)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Fox and the Hound (& sequel)
The Brave Little Toaster (& sequels; kinda can call it Disney)
A(n Extremely) Goofy Movie
Beauty and the Beast (+ The Enchanted Christmas)
101 Dalmatians (& sequel, live-actions)
The Great Mouse Detective
Cinderella (& sequels, sort of)
The Jungle Book
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Fantasia (+ 2000)
The Rescuers (Down Under)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Alice in Wonderland (also love Tim Burton's!)
James and the Giant Peach
The Sword in the Stone
Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin
DuckTales: Treasure of the Lost Lamp
Atlantis: The Lost Empire
The Emperor's New Groove [& Kronk's]
Home on the Range
The Black Cauldron
The Princess & the Frog
Lilo & Stitch
The Little Mermaid Oliver and Company Lady and the Tramp (& sequel, sorta) The Lion King (& sequel) The Hunchback of Notre Dame Hercules The Fox and the Hound (& sequel) The Brave Little Toaster (& sequels; kinda can call it Disney) A(n Extremely) Goofy Movie Frozen!!!! Pocahontas Mulan Beauty and the Beast (+ The Enchanted Christmas) Aladdin 101 Dalmatians (& sequel, live-actions) The Great Mouse Detective Cinderella (& sequels, sort of) The Jungle Book The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Fantasia (+ 2000) The Rescuers (Down Under) Pinocchio Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Alice in Wonderland (also love Tim Burton's!) James and the Giant Peach Dumbo Peter Pan The Sword in the Stone Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin Tangled DuckTales: Treasure of the Lost Lamp Sleeping Beauty Tarzan Atlantis: The Lost Empire The Emperor's New Groove [& Kronk's] Wreck-It Ralph The Aristocats Bambi Treasure Planet Home on the Range The Black Cauldron Brother Bear The Princess & the Frog Robin Hood Lilo & Stitch
My favorite Pixar films ^.~: Finding Nemo/Dory
Toy Story trilogy
A Bug's Life
The Good Dinosaur
Finding Nemo/Dory Brave The Incredibles Monsters, Inc./U Cars +2 Toy Story trilogy A Bug's Life Up Ratatouille Inside Out WALL-E The Good Dinosaur
S'more of my favorite films (see "My Movies" links above for other "small" smatterings of them ;-): 1. Kill Bill: Volumes 1 and 2!
2. All Dogs Go to Heaven (& sequel)
3. Steel Magnolias/Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea [& ALL Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films!!]
4. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (& sequel)
5. The Incredible Journey
7. The Producers (both)
8. The Adventures of Milo and Otis
9. Balto (sequels be aiight)/Alpha & Omega
10. Now and Then AND Stand by Me ;] (grouping them up so that the list doesn't go on forever)
11. Thelma & Louise/Leaving Normal
12. To Dance with the White Dog
13. Millionaire Dogs/Roadside Romeo/MLP: Equestria Girls
14. The Ring (love Ringu as well)/Back to the Future
15. Fried Green Tomatoes/Bonneville
17. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood/Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1 & 2)
18. The Craft/Practical Magic
19. Chicago/Enchanted/HUNGER GAMES series
20. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street+Mamma Mia!
21. Beethoven (& his 2nd)/Bad Girls
22. The First Wives Club/Mad Money
23. Splash/Cats (stage recording)
24. Little Shop of Horrors
25. Rat Race/National Lampoon's Vacation movies
26. Napoleon (1995)/Into the Woods (stage show recording)
27. Forrest Gump/Bonnie & Clyde/Grave of the Fireflies
28. Grease/Wild Hogs/Wild America/Clue
29. Father of the Bride (& sequel, + 1950 original)
30. The Joy Luck Club/Lost in America/Bridesmaids
31. Babe (& sequel)/Indian Summer/Meet Me in St. Louis
32. A Very Long Engagement/White Oleander/Wet Hot American Summer
33. FernGully: The Last Rainforest/Anastasia
34. Bingo/Shark Tale/Megamind
35. The Pebble and the Penguin/Rock-A-Doodle/Thumbelina/The Lorax (both)
36. Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation/Kung Fu Panda (1+2)
37. The Graduate/The Long, Long Trailer/Hocus Pocus
38. Matilda/Jumanji/The Indian in the Cupboard/Death Becomes Her
39. An American Tail: Mystery of the Night Monster/[The] Addams Family [Values]
40. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut/Animalympics/The Last Best Year
41. Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids =D/Rear Window
42. St. Trinian's/The Wizard of Oz
43. Best in Show/[Young] Frankenstein, Frankenweenie (both)
44. Animal Farm (1999, '54)/Rover Dangerfield
45. Space Jam/Gumby: The Movie/The Little Rascals
46. Whip It/Cats & Dogs/Jurassic Park (trilogy)
47. Labyrinth/Lolita/Who Framed Roger Rabbit?/Citizen Kane
48. Overboard/Shiloh/Look Who's Talking Now/The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
49. Simon Birch/My Girl+sequel/Foxfire/Peter's Friends
50. Spaceballs/Galaxy Quest/My Cousin Vinny
51. The Ref/La Femme Nikita/Plague Dogs/Cinema Paradiso/Kick-Ass + K-A 2
52. Tom and Jerry: The Movie/Flushed Away/The Witches (+ of Eastwick!)/Pet Sematary
53. Jungle 2 Jungle/The Secret Garden/Felidae/Sweet Charity/Edward Scissorhands
54. Dogma/The Muppet Movie (& other Muppets!)/Holiday Inn/Stepmom
55. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist/Princess Mononoke/Help! I'm a Fish (A Fish Tale)/The Sweetest Thing
56. Flashdance/Dirty Dancing/The Jerk/Copycat/Rock of Ages
57. Love Actually/Waiting to Exhale/The Quiet Man/The Big Lebowski
58. Richie Rich/The Bucket List/Ghost World/Arsenic & Old Lace
59. The Land Before Time (+ a *few* of the sequels..)/Casper (Meets Wendy)
60. The Pagemaster/Annie (1982, 99)/Fanboys/Creepshow/Annie Get Your Gun
61. Pirates of the Caribbean (& sequels)/Life is Beautiful/All That Jazz
62. The Shining/Into the Wild/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)/Boys on the Side
63. Charly (Flowers for Algernon)/Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind/The Banger Sisters/Terms of Endearment
64. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang/The Sound of Music/Spice World/Lorenzo's Oil/Truly Madly Deeply
65. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest/Easy Rider/Willard [2003; 1971 is good too]/Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
66. Mrs. Doubtfire/Monty Python & the Holy Grail/The Ten Commandments/Airheads
67. Being John Malkovich/Fiddler on the Roof/Little Miss Sunshine/The Grapes of Wrath
68. Paint Your Wagon/Stagecoach/X-Men + X2/Oklahoma!/Hairspray
69. Rain Man/Natural Born Killers/Crossroads/Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
70. Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings films/Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas/Titan A.E.
71. The Rocky Horror Picture Show/Rent/The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy/Ginger Snaps
72. Jules et Jim/La Regle du jeu/The King's Speech/Inglourious Basterds/Les Miserables
73. Hamlet (1996)/Foxes/Blade Runner/Monster House
74. The Women/The Motorcycle Diaries/Trucker/The Village/9
75. Charlotte's Web (1973; live-action is good too), and LOOOOAADS of holiday films/specials/shows, such as #76...
76. How the Grinch Stole Christmas [both, actually]/Dr. Strangelove/The Secret of NIMH
77. A Clockwork Orange/The Breakfast Club/Mary Poppins/Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves/Sleepover
78. Austin Powers (& sequels)/RV/Triple Dog/The Hot Chick
79. We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story/Girls Just Want to Have Fun/Sucker Punch/Prom/Piranha
80. Most Pokemon movies/The Spongebob Squarepants Movie/Good Burger!/Bratz (live-action)
1. Kill Bill: Volumes 1 and 2! 2. All Dogs Go to Heaven (& sequel) 3. Steel Magnolias/Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea [& ALL Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli films!!] 4. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (& sequel) 5. The Incredible Journey 6. Fluke 7. The Producers (both) 8. The Adventures of Milo and Otis 9. Balto (sequels be aiight)/Alpha & Omega 10. Now and Then AND Stand by Me ;] (grouping them up so that the list doesn't go on forever) 11. Thelma & Louise/Leaving Normal 12. To Dance with the White Dog 13. Millionaire Dogs/Roadside Romeo/MLP: Equestria Girls 14. The Ring (love Ringu as well)/Back to the Future 15. Fried Green Tomatoes/Bonneville 16. Beaches 17. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood/Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (1 & 2) 18. The Craft/Practical Magic 19. Chicago/Enchanted/HUNGER GAMES series 20. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street+Mamma Mia! 21. Beethoven (& his 2nd)/Bad Girls 22. The First Wives Club/Mad Money 23. Splash/Cats (stage recording) 24. Little Shop of Horrors 25. Rat Race/National Lampoon's Vacation movies 26. Napoleon (1995)/Into the Woods (stage show recording) 27. Forrest Gump/Bonnie & Clyde/Grave of the Fireflies 28. Grease/Wild Hogs/Wild America/Clue 29. Father of the Bride (& sequel, + 1950 original) 30. The Joy Luck Club/Lost in America/Bridesmaids 31. Babe (& sequel)/Indian Summer/Meet Me in St. Louis 32. A Very Long Engagement/White Oleander/Wet Hot American Summer 33. FernGully: The Last Rainforest/Anastasia 34. Bingo/Shark Tale/Megamind 35. The Pebble and the Penguin/Rock-A-Doodle/Thumbelina/The Lorax (both) 36. Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Summer Vacation/Kung Fu Panda (1+2) 37. The Graduate/The Long, Long Trailer/Hocus Pocus 38. Matilda/Jumanji/The Indian in the Cupboard/Death Becomes Her 39. An American Tail: Mystery of the Night Monster/[The] Addams Family [Values] 40. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut/Animalympics/The Last Best Year 41. Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Kids =D/Rear Window 42. St. Trinian's/The Wizard of Oz 43. Best in Show/[Young] Frankenstein, Frankenweenie (both) 44. Animal Farm (1999, '54)/Rover Dangerfield 45. Space Jam/Gumby: The Movie/The Little Rascals 46. Whip It/Cats & Dogs/Jurassic Park (trilogy) 47. Labyrinth/Lolita/Who Framed Roger Rabbit?/Citizen Kane 48. Overboard/Shiloh/Look Who's Talking Now/The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas 49. Simon Birch/My Girl+sequel/Foxfire/Peter's Friends 50. Spaceballs/Galaxy Quest/My Cousin Vinny 51. The Ref/La Femme Nikita/Plague Dogs/Cinema Paradiso/Kick-Ass + K-A 2 52. Tom and Jerry: The Movie/Flushed Away/The Witches (+ of Eastwick!)/Pet Sematary 53. Jungle 2 Jungle/The Secret Garden/Felidae/Sweet Charity/Edward Scissorhands 54. Dogma/The Muppet Movie (& other Muppets!)/Holiday Inn/Stepmom 55. Kung Pow: Enter the Fist/Princess Mononoke/Help! I'm a Fish (A Fish Tale)/The Sweetest Thing 56. Flashdance/Dirty Dancing/The Jerk/Copycat/Rock of Ages 57. Love Actually/Waiting to Exhale/The Quiet Man/The Big Lebowski 58. Richie Rich/The Bucket List/Ghost World/Arsenic & Old Lace 59. The Land Before Time (+ a *few* of the sequels..)/Casper (Meets Wendy) 60. The Pagemaster/Annie (1982, 99)/Fanboys/Creepshow/Annie Get Your Gun 61. Pirates of the Caribbean (& sequels)/Life is Beautiful/All That Jazz 62. The Shining/Into the Wild/20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)/Boys on the Side 63. Charly (Flowers for Algernon)/Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind/The Banger Sisters/Terms of Endearment 64. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang/The Sound of Music/Spice World/Lorenzo's Oil/Truly Madly Deeply 65. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest/Easy Rider/Willard [2003; 1971 is good too]/Planes, Trains, & Automobiles 66. Mrs. Doubtfire/Monty Python & the Holy Grail/The Ten Commandments/Airheads 67. Being John Malkovich/Fiddler on the Roof/Little Miss Sunshine/The Grapes of Wrath 68. Paint Your Wagon/Stagecoach/X-Men + X2/Oklahoma!/Hairspray 69. Rain Man/Natural Born Killers/Crossroads/Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 70. Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings films/Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas/Titan A.E. 71. The Rocky Horror Picture Show/Rent/The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy/Ginger Snaps 72. Jules et Jim/La Regle du jeu/The King's Speech/Inglourious Basterds/Les Miserables 73. Hamlet (1996)/Foxes/Blade Runner/Monster House 74. The Women/The Motorcycle Diaries/Trucker/The Village/9 75. Charlotte's Web (1973; live-action is good too), and LOOOOAADS of holiday films/specials/shows, such as #76... 76. How the Grinch Stole Christmas [both, actually]/Dr. Strangelove/The Secret of NIMH 77. A Clockwork Orange/The Breakfast Club/Mary Poppins/Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves/Sleepover 78. Austin Powers (& sequels)/RV/Triple Dog/The Hot Chick 79. We're Back: A Dinosaur's Story/Girls Just Want to Have Fun/Sucker Punch/Prom/Piranha 80. Most Pokemon movies/The Spongebob Squarepants Movie/Good Burger!/Bratz (live-action)
Some fave male actors: Alan Rickman, Crispin Glover, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Stewart, Steve Buscemi, Austin Pendleton, Liam Neeson, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Michael McKean, Jack Nicholson, Martin Short, Steve Martin, William H. Macy, James Woods, Rick Moranis, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, Rufus Sewell, Jason Isaacs, Michael Madsen, Gene Wilder, Will Ferrell, Jonathan Frakes, John de Lancie, [[actually, ALL of the primary Star Trek cast members from all 5 series--some more than others!!]], Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, David Krumholtz, Jeff Goldblum, Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, John Malkovich, Kevin Spacey, Tim Curry, Henry Winkler, Judge Reinhold, Bill Nighy, Michael Keaton, Johnny Depp, Adrien Brody, Christopher Walken, Fred Willard, John O'Hurley, William Fichtner, John Hannah, John Cleese, Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Kenneth Branagh, Richard Kind, Christopher Lloyd, David Spade, Ron Perlman, Victor Talmadge, John C. Reilly, Peter O'Toole, Billy Crystal, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Caine, Jonathan Hyde...etc.!!
Some fave female actors: Uma Thurman, Bernadette Peters, Helena Bonham Carter, Daryl Hannah, Bebe Neuwirth, Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Sally Field, Christine Baranski, Elizabeth Banks, Diane Keaton, Bonnie Hunt, Emma Thompson, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Cathy Moriarty, Stockard Channing, Debi Mazar, Kathleen Turner, the Golden Girl quartet, Shirley MacLaine, Lily Tomlin, Allison Janney, Wendie Malick, Didi Conn, Penny Marshall, Maggie Smith, Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, Holly Hunter, Shelley Duvall, Anjelica Huston, Sigourney Weaver, Jo Anne Worley, Joanna Gleason, Ellen Greene, Angela Lansbury...etc.!!
^These are mainly more modern people; I love most of the classic Hollywood actors.
Favorite TV: I Love Lucy/The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour/The Lucy Show, Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, The Golden Girls, Laverne & Shirley, Star Trek (ALL SERIES--TNG, DS9, VOY, TOS, ENT, + TAS!), Cheers, The Wonder Years...Frasier, Reba; -many- various classic/retro shows and several Britcoms; Tales from the Crypt & Darkside; all manner of cartoons/animation; game & kids' shows; most old school Nick/Nick, Jr., Disney, Cartoon Network, & such nostalgic things; paranormal/supernatural/mystery + horror/scary + nature + home/antique/travel shows; Animal Planet; educational/documentary/real-life programming along the lines of the Discovery family of channels; AFV, Whose Line, MXC, Sex & the City, etc...!! (All kinds of stuff on all kinds of channels)
BlackTulip009 on Tv.com (http://www.tv.com/users/BlackTulip009/lists/favorites/), Delilah_ @ myfconline.com, & have (or have had) various other accounts w/ different sites under different names. x3
Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction is, without exaggeration...
...one of the greatest TV shows ever madeand sadly, one of the most under-appreciated. Few series leave such an impact on viewers. Entertaining, exciting, varied, fun, memorable, freaky, chilling, eerie, funny, moving it is all that and more, thanks to the five-stories-per- hour format.
Each segment illustrates a self-contained, usually very well-shot and - cast (with great, occasionally recognizable, but usually not "name" actors) tale of a potentially supernatural/paranormal, shocking, freakish, bizarre, incredibly coincidental, ironic, or outlandish event. The"game" or "test" is for you to ponder and evaluate the plausibility or likelihood of these stories; which were created by the show's writers, and which did they base upon phenomena that, according to interviews and research, supposedly have taken place in the past for real people?
The hosts (James Brolin in the half-length first season and the overwhelmingly fan-favored Jonathan Frakes during the remaining three) proffer some possible explanations, theories, and interpretations, then leave it up to you to make your guesses and check them at the end. The viewer does end up wishing that this were a 1.5-hour program so that the "true stories" behind the "facts" could be explored with more than a simple yes or no, or a couple scant details regarding the general location and time period. However, it is what it is, and what it is, is brilliant. It's my opinion that both hosts are wonderful, and create the proper spooky atmosphereusing illusions, props, creative set pieces, and cheeky jokes to introduce each segment and reveal the answers in the end. However, Frakes definitely does have the edge over Brolin, as he simply owned the show and fully made it his own. He's the one with whom you primarily associate it; his enthusiasm, mischievous grins, sly, witty remarks, amusing puns, more-elaborate set, and overall perfect attitude suited the series ideally, to a T. They struck gold in getting him for it, bringing that special touch.
Every one of the 255 individual stories contained within this one 45- episode series has something great to offerits own characters (many to love, and many to love to hate!), unique setting, compelling themes again, they are so memorable and so varied that it's tricky to sum them up. You WILL have favorites, and ones that haunt you, sticking with you even if you've seen them but once and can eventually only recall certain key details. There's just so much excellence to be hadfrights, laughs, thrills, even tears. Few things can really compare with BB:FoF (those that can to some degree include Are You Afraid of the Dark?, the Goosebumps books and certain episodes, Tales From the Darkside, Tales From the Crypt, The Twilight Zone, Urban Legends, Night Visions, The Outer Limits, Unsolved Mysteries, and the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogywhich has a number of directly corresponding stories.)
This is an outstanding, very special show that has generated many terrific times and memories for me personally. Memories of waiting with eager anticipation to play along with each new episode on Fox every Friday night, watching alongside my mom and little brother in the living room of reliving the absorbed memories again and again, helping friends and others to remember and re-watch stories they couldn't fully recall, after I discovered that they too had been fans playing episodes in my friend's car on a trip via portable DVD player keeping records as I played along, summing up every story as I went so that I'd have the entire show straight in my head typing up my segment-finding key for the 12 discs once I'd purchased it discovering that there'd been an entire fourth season I had not gotten to see on TV, finally owning it in English, and experiencing that magnificent, irretrievable sense of first-viewing joy and surprise.
I hadn't even known there was actually more for me to see. I wrote letters telling the producers how desperately I wished to see another season, how thrilled I'd be at the chance to audition to be in a story, how willing I was to write some myself and, oh, how I DO wish there were more new episodes to get excited over! No reason not to pick this amazing show up for a renewed/revived Season 5 and/or 6! Just keep researching those unbelievable, fantastic storiessuch things happen, and are reported quite frequently make up some more, write/cast/film the things, et voilà! Best thing ever. I'm sure Frakes would resume hosting, and a great many talented actorsincluding his Star Trek brethrenwould willingly contribute their acting skills. The show was a Canadian production, so there would likely be more Canadians game to act, too. ;) I had intended to reenact a few segments as a university film class project, but alas, didn't have enough time in the semester for such an awesome undertaking.
Well, to return to the original point
this entire series demands a high- quality English-language release, and it should certainly be available to steam. It's a shame that my (admittedly very well-put-together) DVD set had to be a bootlegger. The show must be remembered and celebrated as the television marvel it is. So find it whichever way you can, grab a blanket and some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy. Get into the mood. You won't regret itunless you don't enjoy creepy, scary stuff, of course. In which case you might do yourself a favor to find a viewing buddy, or at least snug your best plush pal!)
Nine Dog Christmas (2004)
Sadly forgotten caNINE holiday fun!
I was surprised to find a new holiday moving starring canines that I hadn't yet heard of; clearly, it was brand new and had made its way silently onto shelves. Somehow, it struck me as being a cartoon movie worth seeing and not a cheesy disappointment. I was right. The DVD features are surprisingly good; a music video, game, instructional holiday crafts video for kids, and a particularly nice segment on the dog breeds represented in the movie as well as mixed breeds comprise the features. The story, although geared toward younger viewers, is unique, clever, amusing, and touching enough to make 'Nine Dog Christmas' suitable for nearly any viewer.
I found the characters of the movie to be in many ways similar to previously known canine characters. In fact, the movie reminded me of a six-way cross among "Homeward Bound 2," "All Dogs go to Heaven 2," "Oliver and Company," "Lady and the Tramp," "101 Dalmatians," and "Nick and Noel." It's not that the movie is simply a conglomeration of these and hasn't got a style all its own. It's simply that MacGregor, the Scottie, strongly brings to mind Jock of "Lady and the Tramp." Snowplow, the Australian-accented Old English sheepdog, resembles both Nick from "Nick and Noel" and the Colonel from "101 Dalmatians." Further, the Chihuahua Cheech is like Tito of "Oliver and Company." It's almost as though cousins of these dogs were now starring in their own film!
The other dogs of Pierre LeRond's traveling circus are great; Chester the boxing British Bulldog is perhaps the funniest. No-Name is a lovable old hound dog obsessed with going 'home,' never realizing that he hadn't had a true "home"...until Santa gave him one. Fetch is a hyper hound mix (maybe part Lab or something else), and Tank (apparently part Basset and/or Beagle) is cute and one of the main characters. Q.T. is the pretty Cocker spaniel mix girl who falls in love with Tank rather quickly; the fantasy scene between those two is quite unexpected but fun. Frenchy the Bull Terrier might be the best character because he is the most multifaceted. He's complex, interesting, and somewhat gruff, and does change sides during the film. On the whole, though, the dogs seem to be quite 'Disneyesque.' The songs, especially the Tank/Q.T. one (which reminded me of Audrey's 'Somewhere that's Green' number from 'Little Shop of Horrors' because it involves dreaming of that sort of perfect home with someone else), and the song between elves Buzz and Agnes Anne, are not half bad.
Where do I find the most fault with this movie? Without a doubt: its length. I felt it could have been made much longer without losing the audience's interest. In fact, had the story been elaborated, it would have drawn an audience in even more effectively. An hour just passes for 'full length,' but I thought it could have stood to be even longer. Still, 'Nine Dog Christmas' did impress me as one of the better little holiday cartoon movies of late. Clever and entertaining, it focuses on the holiday in general (in a way anyone could appreciate), and also doesn't beat the usual kids-movie morals to death. It finds its own way to get messages across. With decent low-budget animation and great voice acting on most characters, 'Nine Dog Christmas' is all in all an awesome for children that has good enough dialog (and, let's face it, enough cute dogs and cool music and such) for everybody.
It's worth a solid 9 out of 10 stars! ;) If you get a chance to watch this little Christmas gem, by all means--go for it! It's been one of my annual holiday favorites since I fortunately spotted it at Target in 2004. Now, if I only knew what happened to the little plush Snowplow that came with it...! :(
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Best Pooh production in years!
Don't read this if you desire no spoilers whatsoever. ;)
This adorable little movie was a very nice return to the quaint, classic, storybook-style Hundred Acre Woods, complete with interactive text. Many of the voices were, unfortunately, while not bad, too different to feel comfortable transitioning from the ones I'm used to. I dearly wished for the old Rabbit, Owl, Kanga, etc. Even Tigger sounded somehow slightly different from his usual self, although it was obviously still Jim Cummings. Pooh himself was the one who sounded the most like he always has--which is to say, completely the same. I love Bud Luckey, and he was a good choice for Eeyore, but there's simply no replacing the originals. I kept picturing the Jackalope from "Boundin'" the entire time, lol. (Or Chuckles from "Toy Story III," or Rick Dicker from "The Incredibles"...) It wasn't their fault, of course, that things couldn't be kept perfectly consistent--and indeed, these characters have changed voice actors before. Somehow, though, for the most part, all of the older ones felt more similar, more right, more appropriate, and more readily acceptable.
A few moments struck me as feeling slightly out-of-character, such as Roo's "Send in the pig"--which was a funny line, regardless. Otherwise, the movie didn't feel very "modern," which was a good thing. (And as a side note, I am convinced that Piglet is at least an armadillig, if not a "purebred" armadillo, despite his name and the frequent references to him being a "swine.")
The songs were quite cute; I actually found myself humming or singing a few of them later on! They may not be the best or most memorable songs ever written for Pooh (those are still nearly impossible to equal), but they were good, and got my seal of approval. Zooey Deschanel's lovely, lilting tune that plays during the end credits is an added treat; in fact, she has a great musical talent, on par with her pop star doppelgänger. ;)
The movie IS rather short, perhaps just barely a full-length feature, so I am somewhat glad to have watched it at home, but I think that it still would have been a very worthwhile and enjoyable theater experience. The three basic story lines (Pooh's quest for honey, the search for a new Eeyore tail, and the "Backson" problem) were absolutely classic Pooh, and kept the film flowing along nicely. It had the cozy, warm, fuzzy quality of old Pooh--which is exactly what I was expecting, and the reason you should see it.
Its animation is marvelous--warm, old-fashioned, richly detailed, and true to the classics, although very exaggerated at times (e.g., Rabbit's facial expressions while trapped in the hole. Nothing wrong with this; it was quite amusing...just a tad surprising because it seemed more extreme than what I anticipated.) I always miss Gopher, whom rarely appears in newer Pooh movies.
It must be said that the "Backson" storyline was very similar to the plot of "Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin." Owl misreads a harmless note left casually by Christopher to let his Hundred Acre Wood friends know he'd be away for a spell, and works everyone up into a tizzy because he interprets it as a cry for help. Conjuring up images of deathly peril for Christopher and epic adventures for his friends to try and save him, he leads the gang in a song, ultimately chickening out of the thing himself. Sound like way too much coincidence? Oh, definitely. There is no way they weren't intending to create another version of this, a variation on that theme. Why would one not expect Owl to do such a thing twice, or for the others not to be just as vulnerable to his sensational errors again? These characters, even the more intelligent ones, have never exactly been creatures of very much brain. ;)
So, yes...as Pooh is forever seeking his beloved "hunny" (but ultimately caring about nothing more than his friends), and Eeyore will probably never stop losing his tail and his house, this movie was primarily based upon things we have seen before. It really went back to the roots of Pooh, which is great--rather than being disappointing because we'd "seen it before," it was refreshing to watch such pure, awesome Poohness again, in a different way. The "swimming in the giant pot of honey" was definitely reminiscent of past dream/fantasy sequences. "Pooh's Grand Adventure" is, however, one of my favorite movies and, I believe, a superior one in just about every way. Its story, songs, animation, script, characterization, etc., are utter perfection; I give it a full 10/10. This new 2011 film gets a solid 8 from me.
What this really makes you want to do is watch the all-time best Winnie the Pooh productions:
*Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree *Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day *Winnie the Pooh and a Day for Eeyore *Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too *The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (including holiday specials such as Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too or Spookable Pooh, and the adventure- and learning-based video collections) *Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin
I mean, I could not possibly stress enough how every line, song, scene, scary bit, moving moment, and other memorable element of those episodes and features just sticks with you forever and floods you with happiness each time you think about it, no matter what. I can't imagine calling a childhood complete without growing up on those until they, like the thousands of other threads that make up the quilt of mine, are indelibly ingrained into one's mind and memory. Yeah...they are just that amazing.
More recent movies such as The Book of Pooh, Piglet's Big Movie, Pooh's Heffalump Movie, or The Tigger Movie, have all been cute and worth the watch, earning 6s or 7s from me...maybe one 5.
Bottom line: "Winnie the Pooh" is strongly recommended!!
Eh, 6 1/2....
There's no way that any movie could possibly be as awful as people make this sound. I can't believe all the moaning and hating and overreacting. The original can be neither outdone nor ruined, so they didn't even try. This is just fun. Just a new version. A tribute if you will. No one may harm, change, or spoil the brilliance of the original, or its memories; that's nonsense. It's untouched. Now I'm someone who ADORES the original with a passion. It's my favorite special. I own every single Rankin/Bass holiday special, and not just the Christmas ones. I watch the entire marathon every year. I am a serious fan. But am I offended by this? No! It's harmless.
That said, I knew not to expect too much; The Year Without a Santa Claus was always begging to be done in live action, but this was much too quick and small-scale of a production to begin living up to the full potential it had. There were very funny parts, and things I didn't understand the reason for. Why exclude the wonderful songs? I watched the Snow Vs. Heatmiser clip dozens of times and wow, it got my hopes up for an outstanding film. Of course the rest didn't have that musical feel. And why did they combine likable Mr. Thistlewhite with the Mayor, completely changing Ignatius and producing the far-too-familiar plot line: "busy parent doesn't spend enough time with family, ends up with disillusioned kid for holidays"? There were things I thought should've been kept from the cartoon that weren't.
And yes, Santa really is portrayed as TOO mean, cranky, disgruntled and un-merry from the start. You can see where this was adapted from, but then there are times it totally shoots off in its own direction. Few, it appears, appreciate all the departure from the classic. I personally didn't either. But there's nothing truly wrong with this if you treat most of it as a light-hearted good time (unless you have a bad time with it, in which case we can't help you, just watch the masterpiece of an original because everyone loves that.)
And just as in the original, the Miser Brothers are the indisputable best part of the whole shenanigan. Should they have been given their own classic holiday special? Absolutely. Who doesn't adore them? They just have that something that makes them probably two of the best characters ever. So, so classic you could go on and on about their greatness in the original. But about the new one: thank goodness they didn't have the nerve to think of omitting the Miser songs. The movie really would've helped itself to focus more on them, and for whatever reason it dragged everything else out and made far less use of the good ol' boys than I'd hoped to see. Their first scene is still by far the best in the film, so far ahead of everything else it's not funny. No wonder that was the preview.
As to their depictions; Harvey WAS sort of an odd choice for Heatmiser, though I can't say he didn't do a fine job or looked wrong. I'd confidently say that Michael was the best cast person in the movie; he just does a darn good human Snowmiser. Now, I know everybody was shocked at the absence of the Mini Misers, and furthermore the presence of-GASP!-girl dancers helping each of the Misers. While I understand that they might not have wanted the whole 'Mini Me' thing going on in live action, I too missed the Minis. But you know what? They totally took my idea with those ladies! XD For years I've said that when the Brothers sing their excellent, mighty songs, they ought to have showgirls to dance with them. They created almost exactly what I imagined in this movie--fiery style girls and icy style ones. Amazing. I know the skimpiness of the outfits strikes many as inappropriate for a family flick, but honestly, it isn't really that risqué of a scene. Snowy and Heat only dance with the girls, nothing more. ^~ I loved all the costumes, and the dance moves, and loved the songs and characters to begin with, so overall I completely love that scene.
The rest of the cast? No real problems. The elves could've looked more like elves. Delta, Carol (great Mother Nature), and mostly everyone else did very well even if they differ a bit from their "old selves." So what's so bad about it to deserve all the bad-mouthing? Well, to remake such a classic is kind of daring. And it surely could have been a few hundred times better. But it's not as if they attempted to change, spoil, ruin or outdo the cartoon, and I don't know why that's so hard to understand. These things can just as easily be ignored. I can see where critics could claim that it lacks heart. A lot of it does. The original overflows with it, and hoping for something that good will lead to nothing but disappointment. And perhaps, it seems, outrage.
The Fox and the Hound 2 (2006)
For once I was expecting total disappointment and got better than I ever would have hoped for. Yes, this is a "mid-quel," but once you've seen the (incredible) first you can sort of imagine where these events might fit in. This has its own climax and all, but the plot fits within the original's parameters. It might not make 100% sense, but to go back and do something like this is pretty tough. It's all right.
So, what's good about The Fox and the Hound 2? Much more than anyone expects. First, the obvious animation. It, and the scenery, are wonderful. Bright, bold, shiny, fresh colors, detailed and true-to-the-first backdrops. Very expressive characters who are just delightful to watch--the way the dogs move is fantastic and well done. As to the country music, even if you're not normally a fan, there is nothing to dislike about the movie's songs. Particularly "Good Doggie, No Bone." (Great song. Like "Streets of Gold," it's sung to a young animal to educate them about something (it's really about herself, and what she's learned the hard way.) And ain't that what life is, though? "It's all, 'Good doggie,' but no bone!") They're nicely done by stars from the heart of country music, as explained on the DVD bonus feature.
And the story? Surprisingly great too; good dialogue, witty and humorous bits, good character development. None, or very little of, the usual sequel hokeyness and cheese I'd anticipated. The story of the county fair and aspiring Singin' Strays band is actually very believable. There are so many highlights it's hard to remember them all, but the scene near the end, in which the group performs for a jolly talent scout outside a quaint, old-fashioned diner comes to mind for one. The setting just helps to make the story work; that little diner is so cute, and so perfect for the scene. Same with the design of the Strays' trailer and its 'woman's touch' from Dixie.
I'm still dismayed to see sneak peeks for Cinderella 3 and The Little Mermaid 3 on the DVD, but at least this movie gives me hope that somebody still may know what they're doing making these sequels. Then again, this movie was almost tailored directly to me. More than anything I am a sucker for singing and dancing dogs: show me a film centered around that, and you've got me. I like to imagine a world where everyone's a dog and there are musicians along the lines of the Singin' Strays anyway, but even without such a love for this type of thing, you can appreciate the movie. It stands well enough on its own. But I'm saving the best parts for last.
Yes, it's pretty original; far from perfect, of course, but I won't run down all of the weaker points because as with any sequel, there are many. However, they don't drag down the big picture. Tod and Copper are naturally your young and precious main characters, but Chief, Widow Tweed and Amos Slade haven't been left out--or ruined, either. Chief is especially well animated and a good source of humor. The one character, though, who in my opinion really makes the movie great--in fact she makes the movie--is Dixie. When I first saw her and Cash on the cover, my impression was: 'OMG! It's Dodger and Rita from 'Oliver and Company' redone!' Because Cash's bandanna HAS to be an homage to Dodger. And Dixie has that same sort of look as Rita (which is my favorite 'look' in the world and when I see such a character, it's instant Favorite)--seriously, she's her cover-art twin. Well, turns out Dixie is something like the country cousin of Sasha LaFleur, another sequel-starring performer and Rita-type. A force to be reckoned with and of course the love interest of Cash, she's the most interesting character (and thanks to being in show business, the road is rough for her and Cash). Visually Dixie is an amazing character to watch; the way they made her move and dance just perfectly captures how you'd want to do it if you were her. She steals every scene she's in and I'm glad she's such a central character. Her song is probably the best part of the film. In fact, this movie probably should have been a separate, Singin Strays-centric non-sequel. So to wrap up, this movie basically blew me away--two thumbs up just for stunning me.
Great film!; spoilers
Yes! Another obscure animated dog movie--like Nine Dog Christmas, but more mature. I love Millionaire Dogs; it's off-beat and even a little bizarre. It's original but still reminded me of plenty of others as it played out. For one thing, there are cityscapes in the scenery that are completely reminiscent of Disney's Oliver & Company.
The movie opens on a limousine that, says the foreboding music, is driven by someone evil. To our surprise a dog emerges from said limo, and you realize this poor terrier mutt is a victim of rich snobs who think it's acceptable to pull the 'drive over the bridge and dump the pup trick,' as Rumbo so accurately stated in the movie Fluke. Not much later, an old woman on a motorcycle rides by with a parrot on the bike.
A second dog shows up; J.D. is an agile and streetwise dog who can get around on his own, like some blend of Dodger, Tramp, Charlie Barkin & even a bit of The Fox & the Hound's Chief (possibly because of his face and the way he moves.) He is, we learn, a Labrador mix (who appears for all the world a scruffy, shaggy, wiry mutt.) Rescuing the newly abandoned Chuffie, who loves astronomy and astrology, J.D. finds himself in a new home. It's Villa Lilly, belonging to the elderly woman, a paradise in the middle of a city. From the beginning, original 'pop' music plays sometimes in the background-but it actually serves to enhance the mood.
Miss Lilly's wish is to have her house converted into a home for lost and abandoned animals, a Foster's Home for Non-imaginary Friends. The crew that already calls the place home is a tight-knit family of very different animals, each with their own talents, traits, and hidden desires. Their loyalty to each other is punctuated by the 'Daffy Little Symphony' song (which ends sounding like the friends singing together at the end of Grease) but is put to the test later on when a fortune befalls them.
This crew is made up of three other dogs; Sherman is a Bullmastiff/Boxer-type guard dog, who longs to be a trophy-winning Olympic champ. Toy dog Velvet yearns for fashion-model status; there aren't many other canine characters who're hip, trendy teens & likes headsets & pop music. Then there is Bella, with her flowing red hair that gives the impression of a canine Little Mermaid or Jessica Rabbit. Bella is a beauty queen who gave up a life of circus tightrope/highwire performance for love--with a Lab who dumped her for a Basset hound. She and J.D. have both been around; they know the importance of freedom, the pain of rejection. Her story first made me think of Megara from Hercules; the premise of making sacrifice for a love who shows their gratitude by promptly leaving you for someone else.
The second couple is Sherman/Velvet, a blossoming one that seems a tad odd because Sherman's such a deal larger (& older?) than Velvet. Slightly reminds me of Buster fancying Angel from Lady & the Tramp 2, but not that bad.
A pet psychologist is employed by Lilly's greedy, strange, niece and nephew. He, oddly enough, is a goose, resembling Boris from Balto.) But Dr. Quack is willing to help Ronnie & Hannie by going so far as to try and kill the dogs. He lures each dog into his traps by appealing to the selfish dreams they have each begun to chase--why? Well, Lilly has passed away in her sleep. And her will leaves everything, including a million bucks, to the dogs.
Like Fagin reading to his dog gang in Oliver, Lilly fell asleep on a story she was telling her dogs--but she didn't wake up. There are paranormal elements to the story; J.D. is alerted to Lilly's passing away by instruments that play themselves, & a dark shadow passes over the house. The movie isn't afraid to deal with such a sad scene. J.D. is a dog of action & the only one who refuses to fall into any of the pits the others do--despair, avarice. Every time he leaves them, he ends up returning to help. Bella is always fearful of being abandoned again.
When the money proves to be the root of evil & goes to the friends' heads, Emmo the parrot ends up a manager to four dogs: a rising supermodel, an autograph-signing entertainer with a new agent, a bodybuilder training in his new gym, and a terrier trying to become the next Laika, & the first space dog on the planet Pluto. J.D. is the only one who sees that this was not Lilly's wish being fulfilled; he knows that they must use their fortune to help others who are as poor as they used to be.
Quack's plot leads Velvet to a dark alleyway, certainly not the promised fashion-world, in which she finds herself lost. Sherman is locked up in a factory that seems to make meat out of dogs. Chuffie winds up in a facility for space testing--on animals. Emmo quickly realizes that someone is trying to kill them all. Bella finds herself in chains at a fur factory. J.D. must use Lilly's motorcycle to rescue everyone in a chase that also brings the ride at the end of Oliver to mind. All J.D. seems to care about immediately is finding Bella.
Bella & J.D. create a ghost of Miss Lilly to frighten the twins away--later, Lilly's voice calls to them and thanks them. Her spirit lives in the walls of the home.
Overall, Millionaire Dogs is fun, funny, and well-done. Admittedly, the animation in many places is strange (not in a positive way) and there are errors as well. If the dogs had been drawn more consistently from one scene to another, it would have been the greatest improvement possible for the film.
Krypto the Superdog (2005)
One of the better cartoons on now.
Besides being the only enjoyable cartoon I can think of that sports a mostly-animal cast of super heroes, Krypto is a highly colorful and fun-to-watch show with eye-catching animation and the premise that Superman's dog, Krypto, lives with a young boy named Kevin and fights crime with the partnership of several other characters that make the show far more interesting. Of course, the roughly 10-minute story lines are fairly simple and lighthearted, leaving plenty of room for speculation about the intriguing characters that aren't gone into great depth about. Krypto himself is a friendly and heroic-looking, solid white dog, with a lab-like face that kids would recognize as a "good guy," and a body chock full of powers from incredible physical strength to super-senses. His comrade, the accidental super-cat Streaky, is a more effective and useful partner than he might seem, and is as likable an orange cartoon kitty as Oliver, Heathcliff, or Garfield. The problems Krypto and his buddies have to face range from large-scale plots concocted by troublemakers and crimes committed by villains, to smaller issues that play out in Krypto's own backyard, and strained relationships among characters. The main villains Krypto needs to commonly thwart include Mechanikat, a devious feline with big plans that can affect not just Earth but other galaxies, and who employs various minions from the sneaky little kitten Snooky Wookums to the ravishing catwoman Delilah. Speaking of Catwoman, her Siamese cat Isis is also one to give Krypto trouble, often with her cohorts, the Joker's two red hyenas Bud and Lou. Ace, the bathound, is arguably the funniest character and completely unintentionally on his part--he's always attempting to be over-serious and his voice can render many of his statements quite amusing. Ignatius, Lex Luther's pet iguana, is another frequent cause of problems, though not really due to a villainous nature; it's more that he's a total self-server with access to lots of high-tech machinery that can help him get what he wants for a time, while disregarding what happens to everyone else in the process. There's a colorful cast of characters that reappear from time to time, such as the pack of three ruffian Downtown Dogs and the furry green rat Jimmy. Every so often, an episode will stand out from others for whatever reason, such as the one in which Muttsie (the bulldog leader of the Downtown Dogs) picks up a little spaniel mix named Rosie. Despite Muttsie's promise that using the temporarily amnesiac Krypto will turn her stray life around, Rosie becomes more impressed with the super dog than with Muttsie's scheming. To the statement that she could be living like a show dog, Rosie says, "Not if it means hurting him."
My personal favorite episode of this show, however, is simply any one featuring the Dog Star Patrol--a mish-moshed gang of dogs with super powers who sail the universe in their hydrant-shaped ship fighting crime. They're like X-Men, Pokémon, & the Incredibles in one. There are seven Dog Stars; the English gentleman with the bull horns sprouting from his head, Bull Dog; the tiny pink Chihuahua who actually does not have a Mexican accent and can inflate herself like a balloon, Mammoth Mutt; the ultra psychic short-coated lavender/violet Afghan hound (actually Saluki) with a myriad of mental powers including telepathy, telekinetics & thought-projection, Brainy Baker; the the spunky lime green Scottie with the elastic tail and the western accent, Tail Terrier; the bright red, pyrokinetic Dachshund who can 'Fireblast' the way Pikachu Thundershocks, Hot Dog; the extra-legged, speedy hound dog, Paw Pooch; & the French Canadian spitz dog with the walrus-like super-tooth that can drill (and who says "eh?" a lot), Tusky Husky. My favorite three characters from Krypto, period, are Brainy Barker (female leader who looks an awful lot like Sasha LaFleur, woo-hoo!), Hot Dog, & Tail Terrier.
I think that, while the show might not entertain everyone (and what show does?), it deserves more popularity than a great majority of other cartoons that are on TV at this time, and viewers should anticipate a good second season.
In Dutch (1946)
Pluto in Dutch.
This is one of the best Pluto-centric shorts (I also loved 'Pantry Pirate,' 'Society Dog Show,' and 'Mail Dog'). In this one, Pluto's duty is that of a milk delivery dog in Holland. The town setting, complete with tulips and windmills, is classic. Pluto and his newfound love interest (he's quite a player--in 1939 he met the Pekingese, Fifi, who mothered a litter of his), the lovely smooth-haired Dachshund Dinah, run into trouble with the townspeople in their excitement at having found each other. Luckily, after being run out of town, they find a way to redeem themselves by becoming celebrated heroes. And then the couple rides off together--Dinah leaving her house to accompany Pluto on his milk-delivery rounds.
This Movie rocks.
This movie is so pleasant it could be watched over and over and over without getting tired of it. Negative comments?! I think not. The scenery, the songs, the animals, the plot, the voice actors, the characters, the entire thing...it's adorable, it's endearing, it's wonderful! What more can I say? This is one of the best animal movies ever! On the level of Homeward Bound, Milo and Otis, Fluke, and some animated ones. Exceedingly well-done movie. Everyone will like it. I heartily recommend this one to be bought today. It's VERY memorable! I rented it once and needed to buy it to watch it more. It's got a lot of great lessons for little kids, but it's got such an array of charming characters that anyone would fall in love with it.
The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
This Film's as Good as the Original.
The Santa Clause" is a holiday movie that my family has watched and loved multiple times every year. It really captured the spirit of the day in a way that EVERYONE can appreciate. "The Santa Clause 2" was something I didn't bother to see in theaters, because it's been my experience that Disney can't do sequels right. Based on past failures, this could have truly been a terrible film. Luckily, I heard from a friend who became absolutely obsessed with it and counted down the days to its DVD release. She said it was not only, in her opinion, slightly better than the first, but that it was a generally wonderful and very funny movie. Sufficiently persuaded to purchase the DVD, I now can honestly say that I'm glad I did.
In this movie, the entire original cast returns for a story that's actually quite clever for a "part II." Colorful and fun from beginning to end, the humor is genuine, and not the 'corny' kind you might expect. Actually, my favorite line is when the "number two elf," Curtis, says, "The Desantafication process has begun!" He shouts it so loudly and rapidly it's scary--but mad humorous. If you don't already know the story, here it is in a nutshell: Scott needs a wife in order to remain Santa forever; the "Mrs. Clause." His son Charlie is falling into 'bad behavior' because he feels neglected and upset that he must keep his father's secret, when his dad's got the coolest job of all. While Scott is courting the school principal using magic, back at the North Pole, chaos is ensuing as the toy santa goes awry and develops a persona not unlike Hitler. He whips the elves into long, miserable work hours and is just basically cruel, screwing up the entire process of Christmas by deciding that most kids are naughty and they all deserve only coal.
The reindeer, Scott's ex-wife and Neil, the hilarious Council of Legendary Figures, etc., all combine to make a truly satisfying movie that is a very, very worthy successor to "The Santa Clause." I am pleased to say, a longtime fan of the original was not disappointed at all. (Warning: The most irritating character by far is Molly Shannon's small role of Tracy, Scott's first dismal attempt at finding a Mrs. Clause. Tracy has an unhealthy obsession with country music and bursts into a highly embarrassing singing-and-dancing performance of a Shania Twain song with lyrics twisted to be about Christmas--UNDER THE WATCH OF EVERYONE IN A PUBLIC RESTAURANT WITHIN FIVE MINUTES OF THE START OF A FIRST DATE. Something's wrong with this woman. She's one of those, "I-am-not-with-her, I've-never-seen-her-before-in-my-life" kind of humiliating freaks of nature whom you'd NEVER wanna be caught dead with in public. The scene is funny--still, I dunno about anyone else, but I felt really awful for Scott. I mean, he responded the way any normal red-blooded American would, and then Tracy storms out on him for not "supporting her ambition" when she "put herself out there" which she claims was "not an easy thing to do.") Bernard has a big role, and is even more likable in this one; he doesn't like Curtis much, but he's used to having Scott as Santa. "Chet" is the new, inexperienced reindeer-in-training who is completely horrible at guiding a sleigh--or just flying, for that matter. The Tooth Fairy, who wants to change his name to Tooth Man, Tooth Guy, Molinator, Tooth, Plaque Man, Captain Floss, or as I recall, Roy, is hysterical. "No kid will leave a tooth under their pillow for some guy named Roy," claims Cupid. Eh heh...it's probably true.
Also, BE SURE TO WATCH THE SPECIAL FEATURES!! They're excellent. The interview with the Legendary Figures is hilarious. Gotta love Cupid. "Deleted scenes" & "gag reel" are tons of fun. Watch the movie with the audio commentary from Micheal Lembeck as well as the hysterically funny ten-minute "Exploring the North Pole w/ Curtis." These are too much fun & they give greater insight into the rivalry betwixt Curtis and Bernard. Banana, anyone?!
So on the whole, it's a great film. For everybody. I'd see it if I were you. Terrific holiday movie. A new tradition will be watching the first followed by the second each year.